USA Martin Luther King Jr postage stampThis is a short answer to a question sent to NonviolenceUnited.org (thank you for the question!)

Q: What is violence and what are some examples of “violence against Society?”

A: We are all connected.  More and more people are beginning to re-understand this interconnectedness – that our choices and actions affect not only our lives but the lives of others – even on the other side of the planet, even those we’ll never meet.  We are all connected.  violence, in a nutshell…is anything that works against that natural interconnectedness – it’s an expression of disconnection.

Martin Luther King, Jr. explained that “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny… and for some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”  To reach our potential, we must be mutually supportive of one another.

And violence against society?  Ultimately, any form of violence works against society because it works to unravel that fabric of an interdependent community.  But, violence takes many forms.  We’re so immersed in outright physical violence (war, terrorism by the state and by individuals, domestic violence, child abuse, robbery, rape, murder, drug wars, and so much more) that sometimes we may not recognize the other rampant violence of racism, militarism, speciesism, poverty and materialism (and by this, I mean individual over-consumption as well as the corporatized propaganda and policy that drive it).  Paraphrasing Gandhi, when we use more than we need, we are stealing from someone else.

So, violence against society is basically “othering” within the community (world community or other smaller community).  It is the creating an “other” out of someone who is actuality a part of US, who we’re in reality connected to.  Othering is an irrational, unnecessary, and certainly hurtful belief that anyone in our world community (all humans and all non-human animals… and even nature itself) are somehow separate from ourselves.

Did I mention we’re all connected? 🙂

All one,

🙂 m